Addiction Essay

973 words - 4 pages

Addiction"Addiction is defined by Bratter and Forest (1985) as a behaviour pattern of compulsive drug use characterised by overwhelming involvement...with the use of a drug and securing of the supply, as well as a tendency to relapse after completion of withdrawal. The authors state that the difference between use and addiction is quantitative rather than qualitative. Addiction is not determined in terms by quantity alone, but more over, is additionally determined in terms of the effect on the individual in his or her social context."Common signs of addiction include preoccupation with a substance, relationship or behaviour. A loss of control over the use of the substance or a pattern of behaviour, concerns expressed by others about the loss of control and the effects as well as continued, persistent use of a substance or involvement behaviour in spite of negative consequences.There is no general model for addiction but some of the most influential models of addiction include the moral model (focuses on addiction as a choice), the disease model (focuses on addiction as an illness) and the social learning model (focuses on addiction as a learned behaviour).During the seventeenth century alcohol was seen as an important aspect in society. It was seen by many as being more nutritious and safer for consumption than water which in most towns was contaminated and caused high levels of disease and was responsible for many deaths. It was also around this time that people were considered as being separate from nature in that they possessed a soul, free will and were responsible for their own actions. It was at this time that behaviour was no longer seen as being a result of biological drives as it had been previously. This view therefore sees abuse of alcohol and other drugs as a matter of choice and sees these people as becoming excessive in their habits. As it is the abusers own choice to use the substance to excess society believes that the person should be held responsible for his actions and therefore deserves to be punished. This is similar to a view put forward by Thomas Szasz(1960) concerning the treatment of mentally ill individuals. He suggested that labelling someone as "mad" was to remove his or her personal responsibility. Holding people responsible for the actions gave them back their sense of responsibility.The moral model is perhaps the longest standing view of drug and alcohol abuse it's suggested course of treatment includes clergy intervention as a means of spiritual guidance, moral persuasion, or imprisonment or social consequences. It sees the causal factors of abuse as being a result of spiritual deficit and conscious choices. From the moral perspective drug and alcohol abuse is seen as an infringement of societal rules by the abuser. Proponents feel it is a punishable crime and the individual is responsible for his or her choices. Many in the religious community take this viewpoint and criticise drug and alcohol abuse as a sinful...

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